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OpenMarket: Trade and International

  • Managed Trade: USMCA Comes into Effect Today

    July 1, 2020
    The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) comes into effect today. USMCA’s policy changes are modest, and its economic impact will be small. But it sets a negative precedent for future trade agreements that could have far larger long-term impacts. Most of its changes also attempt to manage trade, rather than free it.
  • A Bright Spot for Tech on USMCA Day

    July 1, 2020
    Today the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement goes into effect. Despite its many flaws, it contains a beneficial provision related to the tech sector. The language of Article 19.17 of the USMCA is similar that of Section 230, the U.S. law governing intermediary liability for web services that has allowed the U.S. tech sector to grow into the dominant world leader we know it as today.
  • Supreme Court Declines to Hear Steel Tariff Case: Time for Congress to Act

    June 23, 2020
    President Trump’s steel tariffs were intended to boost U.S. manufacturing. They backfired to the point where a group of steel-using industries sued to stop the tariffs. The case wound its way up to the Supreme Court, which this week announced it would not hear it. The tariffs will remain in place. The Trump tariffs have to go. Since the Court will not step up, Congress must act.
  • Trump Defers Tariff Payments for Struggling Businesses: A Good Start, More Needed

    April 24, 2020
    President Trump has deferred selected tariff payments for companies experiencing coronavirus-related hardship. It came after more than two weeks of starts, stops, denials, and reversals. This indicates that trade policy is still an area of uncertainty and not something rebuilding businesses can plan around—potentially endangering post-virus economic recovery.
  • Trump Administration Suspends Tariffs, but Not Confusion, for Three Months

    March 30, 2020
    On Friday evening, the Trump administration announced it would stop collecting all tariff revenue for three months, effective immediately. In ordinary times, the news would have been front page news for days. Instead, as with many late-Friday news dumps, it has gone virtually unnoticed.
  • Liberate to Stimulate 2020: Let’s Start with Trade

    March 5, 2020
    The past two weeks have seen a volatile market owing to concerns over coronavirus, which suggests an economic downturn could be on the cards. The administration can go some way toward heading this off with liberalization of trade.
  • VIDEO: Trade Is Not a Four-Letter Word

    February 28, 2020
    Former Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg recently made an appearance at the American Enterprise Institute to promote his new book, Trade Is Not a Four Letter Word: How Six Everyday Products Make the Case for Trade. Readers who are familiar with CEI’s position on Ex-Im will know we are not fans of its operations (or existence), but we are fans of international trade, so we were eager to hear what Hochberg had to say. Hochberg made a case for the advantages of open trade, using six different products to tell his story.
  • Senate Passes USMCA, Sets Bad Precedent for Future Agreements with China, UK, EU

    January 16, 2020
    The USMCA trade agreement passed the Senate today. USMCA is valuable damage control. Three years of unpredictable tariff increases, threats of increases, and diplomatic tensions will hopefully have more stability going forward. Unfortunately, USMCA is filled with trade-unrelated provisions and giveaways to business, labor, and environmental interests. Trade agreements should stick to trade issues.
  • Phase One Trade Agreement with China: Tariff Stability, at the Cost of Managed Trade

    January 15, 2020
    Phase One of a trade deal with China has enormous value as damage control against further tariffs, but it comes at a cost. The Trump administration has more than doubled total U.S. tariffs in its first three years, and other countries, including China, have responded in kind. Phase One’s signing hopefully marks an end to a tariff-first trade policy and its unpredictable implementation. But a ceasefire is not a victory. Massive tariffs put in place less than two years ago will remain in place, and risk becoming normalized.
  • Brexit Update: Nigel Ashford and Iain Murray Offer Analysis

    January 10, 2020
    With the vote yesterday in the House of Commons to approve Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan for separating the United Kingdom from the European Union, it seems that after a very long road, Brexit will actually happen on January 31.


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